Nursing degree gets senate approval

A pair of new academic programs and a more stringent transfer requirement were among items approved at the March 7 Faculty Senate meeting.

Beginning this fall, a bachelor's of science in nursing will be jointly offered by the colleges of Human Sciences and Agriculture and Life Sciences. Nurses who hold degrees from accredited programs (registered nurse or associate degree in nursing) are the target audience.

A minor in pharmacology and toxicology also was approved. Administered by the biomedical sciences department and interdepartmental toxicology program, the undergraduate minor would benefit students interested in careers that involve "drug action, toxicology and their effects on living animal and environmental systems."

Transfer GPA

Senators voted in favor of raising the minimum grade point average requirement for transfer students, from 2.00 to 2.25. The higher GPA requirement, effective in fall 2019, would not apply to students with an associate's degree.

"We want our students to be successful," said academic affairs council chair Tim Bigelow. "After looking at students coming in without an associate's degree, it was found that students with a 2.25 or less GPA were significantly less successful than students with a higher GPA."

A show of hands

Senators also approved:

  • Discontinuation of a summer option for students below the minimum admission requirement for the Regents Admissions Index, as of summer 2018
  • Proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook's faculty appointments policy (section 3.1) that align with mandates from the Higher Learning Commission, including a process for hiring faculty who do not meet minimum qualifications
  • A statement of faculty core values, outlining "the fundamental aspects of academic life, including integrity, collegiality and respect" and "commitment to academic freedom, granting of tenure and other tenets central to the faculty"

Next month's vote

Two items will be eligible for a vote next month, including a proposed master's of professional practice in dietetics. The online program was created in anticipation of future national requirements for registered dieticians.

Senators also will vote next month on a proposed change to the university's communication proficiency grade requirement for undergraduates in ENGL 205, raising it from a C- to a C. The higher requirement, which already exists in some colleges, would be part of the university catalog.

Athletics council elections

From a slate of six candidates, two faculty members were elected to serve on the university's athletics council. Tera Jordan, assistant professor in human development and family studies, and Rob Whitehead, assistant professor in architecture, begin their three-year terms next fall.